la Brocanteuse

Jan 26, 2011

L' Orangerie

We call it  the Orangerie,
 but mostly people refer to  it as  the Conservatory
it does not matter..
it is where inside meets outside

I had so much fun today..
Well known and hugely  talented
 photographer and stylist
~Henrique Wilding~ 
was here  in my abode
to  take some pictures for
 a South African magazine 
April 2011 issue of "Garden&Home"

The focus of the article is on "re- invent" 
and how to use something in a "new" way..
Over sized chairs upholstered with  vintage German grain bags were used, cushions made from original  French la Poste mailbags, 
and original French documents (circ 1800)
displayed  in antique hand blown French domes.

I enjoy to share what I love  -
 all the above and also old French monogrammed linen
 and bibelots.
Most is found in Europe and I visit small villages in  the French country side, to find and bring back to fill my 
Brocante Armoirs..

After the very talented people  left
 I picked up my little digital Canon 
and took some pic's of my own.
just random images of what I like today..
for tomorrow the vignettes may change again.




accents of black and white to echo the floor

 Thank you to my friend Jurita
 who sent these Aloes from their farm.
 I could bring the outside in.
 There were enough to fill some baskets in a passage as well.

Aloes can actually survive  without water displayed in a basket like this for about two months! After that they can still be transplanted and will grow with little water needed. the drier  the soil, the  better.


This genus is native to AFRICA and is common in South Africa's Cape Province,  the mountains of tropical Africa, and neighboring areas such as Madagascar, the Arabian peninsula and the islands of Africa.

Aloe has been well known for centuries for its healing properties.  Both oral intake and topical dressings have been documented to facilitate healing of any kind of skin wound, burn, or scald .  Situations to try it on include blisters, insect bites, rashes, sores, herpes, urticaria, athlete's foot, fungus,  conjunctivitis,  allergic reactions, and dry skin. The raw plant is best, but commercial preparations can also be used.

Once a year each plant  display a  single orange flower

We are going through a heat wave at the moment.
A lot of time is spent in the Orangerie
which opens to the pool  directly outside.

When all the doors open up, it is  an extension of the veranda where we enjoy most meals in summertime

 it becomes a drop off zone for pool towels, books,balls 
and even the dogs prefer to lie here and nap
 on the cool  white marble and  black slate floor. 

I have a weakness for these old oversize chairs..

"as is" is perfect for me

a fun hairdo..
some dried dodder ~ a plant that grows in the river

 even if I  plant only one tree..
it will always be a olive tree...
and then a fig...
a lemon tree
and another olive tree




Looking forward to see the photographs that was taken, and will share once it has been published.
Henrique also took some pictures of  favorite armoirs and bits here and there-
 she promised to let me have it to share on my blog..
thank you Henrique!


I simply know this succulent as "bergrosies"
translated directly ~" mountain roses"
like the aloe, just picked and left in the  flat sink bowl 

Jan 19, 2011

tussie mussie

The first day of a new school year.
I still remember...
the smell...of "newness" 
 new uniform, new shoes that squeak, new stationary 

Dd set out everything as neat as possible , just ready to dress and be on time.
She woke us more than a hour before the alarm was set to go off
"wake up- we are going to be late for school!"
 she said.
ha- ha.. that will be my line for the rest of the year..

This year dd is a grade 2 scholar.
She understands about an apple for the teacher..

I found her in the garden
 putting together a tussie mussie for her new teacher..
I was a little sad , for all I was asked to do was to tie it together with a little pink ribbon from her drawer..

yes, pink is still  the favorite
all most little girls go through a "pink stage"
for some it lasts longer....

remember the little pink trolley from the brocante in France?

this satchel  belongs to the same family of pink accessories.
easy to find in her all white bedroom!

I do not remember pink satchels though.

In our days we had leather satchels,with compartments and a special front pocket
 for a lunch box.
I remember my lunch box- 
it was a  blue square hinged tin  with a pretty picture of a fluffy white doggy on it. I wonder if I chose that?
Perhaps it originally came with old English toffees.. 

they just don't make lunch boxes like they used to..
today they  are made from a canvas/plastic type   with  "zippers"!!
I wish I had a Pierrot Gourmand with lollies..
to add one every now and then  to her lunch box as a treat.

what do you remember from
 first "back to school" days? 

Jan 17, 2011


dry branch found on  Arniston beach..

 Nord... Sud...Est... Quest ...

In a previous post 
I shared our beach house with you.

  I adore our beach house in Vermont and the lifestyle that comes with it...I have been known to pack up and stay  all summer with visits from husband and friends that don't mind the trek down south to visit with us there...
 there is another beachhouse that touched my heart  that I  would like to share,
a friend's house in Arniston.

The owners sourced old building materials, extra wide planks for the floors,
 old doors and windows with  shutters.

To stay in tune with the historical style of Arniston, the house was built like the original Arniston houses,(see images of "Kassiesbaai" in a previous post. -clad with stone from the area and then lime washed, a thatch roof  also from grass sourced in the Overberg,completes the house.

On entering you feel like this could be the original house first built in Arniston two hundred years ago-

 I admire  how the owners has managed to "control" the style of order to stay true to the Arniston area which is a Heritage site.

-no typical "beach house" style all blue and white...but rather really old pieces of furniture-  sourced  with time.Each piece is unique and one of a kind. Original paint has been left as found. 

old grain bags add textile texture

 there is not a single "new" item to be found in this house. well maybe just a few essentials...

... like the Smeg cooker range in the kitchen...and then very cleverly overpowered by cabinets made using old fruit packing boxes,   fridges are hidden behind old doors...

do you see the continuation of the old boats in the harbor?...(previous post)

 at the foot of each bed is a old original wooden "kis" or box to store extra bedding.

  comfortable seating and quiet ambiance

 shells and driftwood collected with time

this house demands a special lifestyle..
easy, laid back ,and content
  it's beauty lies in it's honest portraying of  all that is necessary...


 the fauna a flora growing on the beach...
reflects the colors of the old wood 

-old broken pieces of porcelain  found washed up 

   children enjoy cycling to the harbor to watch the fishing boats come in.. swimming and playing in the waves, building sandcastles, dune riding,...and then tell stories before falling asleep in a loft where one is allowed to be whatever you want to be.. a princess or a rock star, these are the happy days that will be remembered forever....

the furniture in the loft gets changed around as the "set" demands 
for both princesses and heroes..

happy days

happy memories 

 is there a more photographed image then sunset on the beach?...

"bokkoms" ~ salted dried fish

I have come to the conclusion that the less one has to style and dust when on holiday..the more you relax and find yourself. I also know that if everyone is relaxed and happy...the world is a good place, no matter what.

the most beautiful objects are free..

this house
for the feeling of quiet simplicity
that it shares  to all who enter through the door....
that is priceless.

 with thanks

all images in this post is by me

chair and beach in 2nd and 3rd image-our  Vermont Beach house